Haralson Board of Education members met three of the five system police officers at their meeting on Tuesday.

The officers, Bernie Reece, Michael Maverly, Candace Tongate, Charles Sharpe and Captain Kendall Holderfield have served at each school getting to know all the schools and the administrators so that any or all can respond in case of emergency, said John Daniel, who is serving as chief of the police department.

“We’ll continue to kind of bounce around here and there so that they’re familiar in case anything happens,” Daniel said.

The school system created the department with mainly local funds including special purpose local option sales tax revenue, Bell said. The officers have been working in the schools since Jan. 3.

“We’ve been receiving good feedback from the parents and students, the staff,” Daniel said.

One officer each will always be stationed at Haralson County High School and Middle School. Buchanan Primary and Elementary schools will share an officer since they are on the same campus. Likewise Tallapoosa Primary and West Haralson Elementary schools, both in Tallapoosa, will share an officer. Holderfield is not tied to a particular school. He will fill in for other officers or drop in randomly at the schools, Daniel said.

Daniel said it was an added bonus to hire Holderfield, who already owned a trained canine. The school system wasn’t specifically looking for a K-9 officer and Holderfield didn’t mention that he had one during the interview, Daniel said. However, if the system does need a K-9 for any reason, his dog is available, Daniel said.

Holderfield and his dog will also be available for other area law enforcement agencies if needed, he added.

In other business board members:

  • approved a number of board policies including annual operating budget, transportation safety, fraud prevention and gifts and bequests. There were no changes to any of the policies, Bell said.
  • approved the purchase of equipment for the weight room at the high school from Advantage Sport and Fitness, Inc., for $270,080. The system received five bids, three of which were lower, but Coach Scott Peavy told the board members that the lower bids were for equipment that was a lower gauge steel than the system had wanted. The system will use Elementary and Secondary School Relief fund money awarded through the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act for the purchase, Bell said.
  • approved an overnight trip for students to the Skills USA National Conference in February.
  • approved a redistricted map as presented. The map was created by the state to even out the population of the districts to a population of about 4,500 each, Bell said.
  • approved a 2022-2023 school calendar that maintains the four-day week and all the same breaks as this year. The new school year will begin on Aug. 2 and end on May 19.
  • approved a five year District Strategic Plan for fiscal year 2022 through 2026. The plan does contain a few changes from the former plan including one goal dealing with the graduation rate. Since the system has been able to maintain a graduation rate of 97% to 98%, that goal was changed from an annual improvement to a goal to maintain a rate of 95% or higher.
  • declared surplus some desks and student chairs that are no longer used from Buchanan Primary so that they can be removed from the school.
  • recognized three College and Career Academy students who have shown exemplary leadership including Trevor Bynum, Alec Neal and Caleb Elliot.

after a short closed session, approved a number of unnamed personnel actions.

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